Let's lighten up on Paula Deen, please

Back when Paula Deen used the N-word, people of color were referred to as Negroes. Today the accepted word to use is black.

I can't help but wonder if Paula had been black and used the word "cracker" or "honky" would the backlash and uproar be the same? Would she have been fired or would she still have her job and endorsements?

I grew up in the South and have friends of all skin colors, but I find this whole issue to be totally blown out of proportion.

Frankly, I find it offensive to keep being beaten over the head with the one-sided race card.

Paula Deen misspoke. She's not using that word today, nor did she use it yesterday. That was then, this is now. Give her back her jobs and move on.

Sandra Mahanna

Wildlife rehabilitator, Tucson

IRS rules are clear on tax-exempt status

There seems to be considerable confusion regarding Internal Revenue Code sections 501(c)(3) and (4) in the context of the Internal Revenue Service scandal.

Section 501(c)(3) organizations will be denied tax-exempt status if a substantial part of their activities consists of attempting to influence legislation or participation in a political campaign.

A Section 501(c)(4) organization may engage in legislative and political activity so long as it primarily engages in promoting the common good and general welfare of the community.

Therefore, a 501(c)(4) organization can engage in political and legislative activities to a greater degree than a 501(c)(3).

However, individuals receive an income tax deduction for contributions to a 501(c)(3); they do not receive a deduction for a contribution to a 501(c)(4).

Douglas R. Holm

CPA, Tucson

Golf course decisions deserve 3 thumbs up

1. Since Randolph Golf Course emptied most of its water ponds, there has been a dramatic reduction in reported West Nile cases in Tucson.

The Daily Star once published a map showing a red plume of cases that extended directly from Randolph several miles in the prevailing wind direction.

2. Parks and Recreation's acknowledgement of its incompetence and lack of accountability in golf course maintenance by asking private companies to bid for management contracts.

Professional management will generate increased demand by tourists, professional golf organizations and the local golfing community. 

3. The pressure put on Councilwoman Regina Romero to reverse her rash decision to convert El Rio Golf Course into a concrete, asphalt heat zone for a private university.

This will now preserve one of Tucson's rare open green spaces and the program run by the Tucson Conquistadores that targets disadvantaged children.

Golf 3, Others 0.

Michael O. Craig

Consultant, Tucson

Congress ignores middle class - again

Re: the July 2 article "Students could see some loan rates double."

As usual, Congress did nothing to help the middle class.

This time it was the lack of action on college loans.

Interest on new student loans has doubled because Congress just couldn't get its act together.

To me this shows that the banks have strong lobbyists who certainly don't want the rate to go down, as it is money out of their pockets.

The students don't have lobbyists at all. They depend on the "goodness" of Congress and guess what? Congress has none.

Too bad. So sad.

Students, remember this day come election time.

Jerry Lujan

Retired, SaddleBrooke

State should plan for jaguars' return here

Re: the June 27 article "Jaguar roves near Rosemont mine site."

I find Arizona Fish and Game spokesman Jim Paxon's statement regarding jaguar habitat to be extremely shortsighted.

The fact that jaguars are showing an interest in expanding their territories back into the U.S. shows that while the habitat here isn't optimum, it could be critical to them.

It was, after all, historically used by them before they found it undesirable due to human interference. 

There are no breeding pairs yet. But since these animals have been expanding their territory, it is possible there could be breeding pairs in the future.

By altering the habitat in such a way as to disturb the jaguar's ability to use it, we'll be back to square one in having them return to what was their historic territory.

Arizona Fish and Game needs to plan for the future of all of the species in this state.

Cathy L. Smith

Retired, Sierra Vista